Medichecks Vitamin D Blood Test
If you would like to check your vitamin D levels at home, this at home vitamin D test kit by Medichecks could be for you!
- Measures the major circulating form of vitamin D
- An easy and affordable way to check if your vitamin D levels are normal or you are deficient
- Simple finger-prick sample method, which is sent off and checked by accredited laboratories with a doctors interpretation
- Results in 2 working days from sample receipt at lab
What Are The Vitamin D Requirements
Only 20% of our vitamin D is meant to come from our diet with the remaining 80% provided by our skin from UV-B exposure to the sun. There are currently two sets of guidelines for vitamin D intake. Typically, vitamin guidelines are established by the Institute of Medicine in the form of Recommended Dietary Allowances or adequate intakes . The RDA is the average daily intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy individuals. These guidelines were set on a population model to prevent vitamin D deficiency based on bone health for the general population. The Endocrine Society put together a task force to review the research and came up with a set of guidelines based on a medical model for those at risk for a deficiency. The two recommendations are as follows:
|1,500-2,000 IU/day||1,500-2,000 IU/day|
These amounts are based on what is needed to maintain the blood levels that each guideline committee has established as ideal. The higher the blood level that you need to maintain, the more vitamin D you will need to maintain that level. If your blood level is deficient, these are not the guidelines for you to follow. You will first need to get your levels up by taking vitamin D above these amounts and then you will follow these levels once you have reached your adequate level. Your health care provider can provide recommendations for a safe way to do this.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need
From about late March/early April to the end of September, the majority of people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight on their skin.
Children from the age of 1 year and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Babies up to the age of 1 year need 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day.
A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram . The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol followed by the letter g .
Sometimes the amount of vitamin D is expressed as International Units . 1 microgram of vitamin D is equal to 40 IU. So 10 micrograms of vitamin D is equal to 400 IU.
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What Causes Vitamin D Toxicity
Vitamin D toxicity is almost always the result of excess supplementation. Because your body regulates vitamin D production, you are unlikely to develop it as a result of sun exposure . Foods generally do not contain large amounts of vitamin D, so getting an excessive amount in your diet is unlikely.
People may begin taking vitamin D supplements in order to address a deficiency or to help relieve symptoms of things like seasonal affective disorder or depression. The problem is that they may go overboard or think that taking more will produce more beneficial effects.
How Is A Vitamin D Deficiency Diagnosed
Your doctor can order a blood test to measure your levels of vitamin D. There are two types of tests that might be ordered, but the most common is the 25-hydroxyvitamin D, known as 25D for short. For the blood test, a technician will use a needle to take blood from a vein. You do not need to fast or otherwise prepare for this type of test.
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What Is Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency means that you do not have enough vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D is unique because your skin actually produces it by using sunlight. Fair-skinned individuals and those who are younger convert sunshine into vitamin D far better than those who are darker-skinned and over age 50.
Why 50 Ng/ml Is The Vitamin D Goal For Life
So if 30 ng/ml really doesn’t cut it if you want to best support your health and well-being, what vitamin D levels should you strive to achieve and maintain?
“As an endocrinologist, I know that achieving optimal serum 25D levels in the 50+ ng/ml range is imperative for immune health, bone health, and more,” Henderson says. “This is the average or median level at which most association studies show various benefits, including immune health, balanced mood, and more.”
And the tool to achieve that level of 50 ng/ml is clearly vitamin D3 supplementation, according to Henderson’s clinical expertise with hundreds of patients, plus the collective D science to date.*
While hitting 30 ng/ml is a start , it’s not the goal.
“We are consistently undertreating patients when we stop at 30 ng/ml,” Henderson continues. “Our population is heavily vitamin D deficient and targeting an optimal level of 50 ng/ml has an enormous impact on all aspects of human health.”
Ferira adds this analogy, “Aiming for 30 ng/ml is like signing up and paying for four years of college but never attending any classes, taking any tests, or graduating. It’s a bad investment, aims too low, and is going to hurt eventually.”
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Symptoms Of Too Much Vitamin D
Some signs that you might be getting an excessive amount of vitamin D include:
- Appetite loss
If you are experiencing these symptoms, talk to your doctor. Be sure to tell them which supplements, medications, and substances you are taking, including the dosages of each. If your doctor suspects that your symptoms might be linked to too much vitamin D, they may administer lab tests to check your blood serum levels.
Vitamin D toxicity can result in other consequences, including kidney and bone problems. Your doctor may also look for signs of the following problems that can be caused by excess vitamin D.
How Do I Get The Vitamin D I Need
Dont run out to the drug store to buy vitamin D pills just yet. Your body produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sun, and it is estimated that most people need 1,000 to 1,500 hours of sun exposure throughout the spring, summer, and fall to obtain the necessary amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is very common and on the rise. This is mostly due to vigilant sun protection, since sunscreen with SPF 30 reduces vitamin D production by 95%. Of course, as a dermatologist I am not advocating for prolonged sun exposure, but small amounts can go a long way, as the skin produces vitamin D that can last at least twice as long the vitamin D you take in through foods or supplements. Vitamin D can also be obtained through other sources, including fatty fish , foods fortified with vitamin D , beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Of course, vitamin D supplements are needed for people most at risk for deficiency, including breastfed infants, older adults, people with limited sun exposure, darker skinned individuals, and overweight individuals.
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Understanding Your Vitamin D Levels
Doctors have a better idea of the vitamin D levels associated with deficiency than of the vitamin D levels associated with good health. There is general agreement that if your 25 vitamin D level is 10 ng/ml , then you are at immediate risk for losing minerals from bone. This condition is called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
If your 25 vitamin D levels are 30 ng/ml or higher, there’s good agreement that you have all the vitamin D that your body needs for good health. If you have some number in between 10 and 30 ng/ml, however, you may still benefit from taking a supplement.
Normal 1,25 2 vitamin D levels run between 12 and 55 pg/ml. This is the activated form of vitamin D. And normal parathyroid hormone levels run between 12 and 50 pg/ml. These are not the first two levels your doctor should be looking for. Usually the level of the storage form of vitamin D is what you are looking for.
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Optimal Vitamin D Supplementation Levels For Cardiovascular Disease Protection
David R. Thickett
1School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Centre for Translational Inflammation Research , University of Birmingham Laboratories, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TH, UK
First described in relation to musculoskeletal disease, there is accumulating data to suggest that vitamin D may play an important role in cardiovascular disease . In this review we aim to provide an overview of the role of vitamin D status as both a marker of and potentially causative agent of hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. The role of vitamin D levels as a disease marker for all-cause mortality is also discussed. We review the current knowledge gathered from experimental studies, observational studies, randomised controlled trials, and subsequent systematic reviews in order to suggest the optimal vitamin D level for CVD protection.
1. Vitamin D Introduction
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that functions as a steroid hormone. In the skin, ultraviolet light causes photochemical cleavage of 7-dehydrocholesterol into previtamin D3, which spontaneously isomerises to form vitamin D3 . Vitamin D2 is a plant-derived form of vitamin D through exposure of yeast to UV light. Skin synthesis of vitamin D3 accounts for about 80% of vitamin D dietary sources include fish oils, egg yolks, mushrooms, dairy products, and fortified cereals.
How Is Vitamin D Deficiency Treated
The goals of treatment and prevention are the sameto reach, and then maintain, an adequate level of vitamin D in the body. While you might consider eating more foods that contain vitamin D and getting a little bit of sunlight, you will likely be told to take vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D comes in two forms: D2 and D3. D2, also called ergocalciferol, comes from plants. D3, also called cholecalciferol, comes from animals. You need a prescription to get D2. D3, however, is available over the counter. It is more easily absorbed than D2 and lasts longer in the body dose-for-dose. Work with your doctor to find out if you need to take a vitamin supplement and how much to take if it is needed.
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People Who Should Be Tested
The following should be tested for vitamin D deficiency:
- Individuals who receive therapy to prevent or treat osteoporosis
- Elderly people, especially those with minimal exposure to sunlight
- Patients with signs and symptoms of hypocalcemia or hypercalcemia
- Children and adults with suspected rickets and osteomalacia, respectively
- Patients receiving vitamin D therapy who do not demonstrate clinical improvement
Who Is At Risk For Vitamin D Deficiency
Being that the sun is the primary source of vitamin D, your exposure, or lack of it, will impact your risk for a deficiency.
The Endocrine Society recommends screening and treatment for individuals at risk, including older adults with a history of falls or nontraumatic fractures obese children and adults African-American and Hispanic children and adults pregnant and lactating women and people with musculoskeletal diseases, chronic kidney disease, hepatic failure, malabsorption syndromes, and some lymphomas. Ongoing monitoring is recommended for the elderly, people with disabilities, and hospitalized people as they have been shown to have a significantly higher risk.
Research has begun to focus on who is deficient or insufficient in their vitamin D levels. Finding a deficiency does not mean that vitamin D is the cause of any ongoing symptoms. It simply means that there is a possible relationship, and more studies need to be done to clarify the relationship between vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency and disease processes.
People with one of the fat malabsorption syndromes and people who have had bariatric surgery are often unable to absorb enough of the fat-soluble vitamin D.
Medications and medical conditions
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Why And When You Should Get Tested For Vitamin D
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Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D helps our body absorb calcium and phosphorus from the diet. That is why it is essential for the development and functioning of bones and teeth. It is available in two forms: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is mainly found in plant-based food and whereas vitamin D3 is made by your own body when it is exposed to sunlight. It is also found in animal-based foods.
Both forms of vitamin D are changed to an active form which is 25 hydroxyvitamin D, also known as 25D.
What is the importance of Vitamin D test in India?
According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, approximately 70-90% of the healthy Indian population is vitamin D deficient. Low level of vitamin D occurs commonly in India across the different age, sex, gender, urban or rural settings.
How do you know if your vitamin D levels are sufficient?
If you have low levels of vitamin D, your body might give some signs such as pain in joints and limbs, fatigue, etc. However, it is not uncommon to have vitamin D deficiency and have no signs altogether.A Vitamin D test is the best way to know if you have sufficient levels of vitamin D in your body. This test is done to measure the level of 25 hydroxyvitamin D in your blood to check whether it is low or higher than normal.
When should you get a Vitamin D test?
You need to undergo vitamin D test if you fall into any one of the following categories:
What happens in a Vitamin D test?
What Other Factors Can Lead To Vitamin D Deficiency
- Age: The skin’s ability to make vitamin D lessens with age.
- Mobility: People who are homebound or are rarely outside are not able to use sun exposure as a source of vitamin D.
- Skin color: Dark-colored skin is less able to make vitamin D than fair-colored skin.
- Human breast milk: A woman’s breast milk only contains a small amount of vitamin D. Often infant formulas also only include a small amount of D also. Therefore infants are at risk of not receiving enough vitamin D. This is especially true for infants who are only fed breast milk.
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Health Effects Of Low Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency does not always have obvious symptoms but without treatment there can be significant health effects. These can include bone and muscle pain, and softening of the bones such as rickets and osteomalacia .
Some people are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, including:
- people with naturally very dark skin this is because the pigment in dark skin doesnt absorb as much UV radiation
- people who avoid the sun due to previous skin cancers, immune suppression or sensitive skin and those people who have limited sun exposure, such as nightshift workers
- people who wear covering clothing or concealing clothing
- people who spend a long time indoors such as those who are housebound or institutionalised
- people who are obese
- people who have a disability or a disease that affects vitamin D metabolism, such as end stage liver disease, renal disease and fat malabsorption syndromes such as cystic fibrosis, coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease
- people who take medication that affects vitamin D metabolism
- breast-fed babies of vitamin D deficient mothers
If you think you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency, talk to your GP for advice. Your GP may recommend taking a vitamin D supplement.
Overexposure to UV is never recommended, even for people who have vitamin D deficiency.
Can Medications Cause A Vitamin D Deficiency
Yes. Vitamin D levels can be lowered by certain medications. These include:
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs .
- Seizure-control drugs .
- A tuberculosis drug .
- A weight-loss drug .
Always tell your doctor about the drugs you take and any vitamin D supplements or other supplements or herbs/alternative health products that you take.
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What Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a compound the body makes when the skin is exposed to the sun. This sets off a chemical reaction which converts cholesterol into vitamin D3.
The blood carries the vitamin D3 to the liver and the liver converts it into 25-hydroxyvitamin D, also called 25D. 25D is sent to the kidneys and the kidneys convert it into 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D or 1,252D.
1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D or 1,252D is also called calcitriol. Calcitriol is more accurately termed a hormone than a vitamin. Vitamin D is involved in almost every metabolic function in the body because almost every cell has a vitamin D receptor. Its estimated that around 2,000 genes are directly or indirectly regulated by vitamin D.
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The body makes its own vitamin D from sun exposure. With adequate sun exposure it is not necessary to consume vitamin D through foods or supplements.